My second TBEX Europe following hot on the heels of the previous one just six short months ago in Athens. Walking into the first one where I knew just one person, this was a very different experience. Within those six months there had been WTM London, Travel Massive meetups in Prague and Berlin not to mention the so massive it’s unmanageable ITB Berlin. I was flatsharing with my blogger buddies Amber and Eric of With Husband In Tow and their friends at the #jamonhouse. Walking in to any of the events I didn’t feel like the awkward new kid at school, it was more of a reunion and catching up with friends makes it feel less like a networking event and more of a party. It also makes it a lot easier to meet new people when your friends introduce you to other bloggers.
The venue, a kiss-me-quick-hat seaside resort on the Costa Brava favoured by groups of young Brits, Germans and Scandinavians situated 2 hours by slow train and bus from Barcelona, was a bit of a change from one of the most history-laden cities in the world. One plus side was the Route 66 Diner, run by a lovely lady from Essex. The perfect Sunday morning pick-me-up. At least it was cheap, I guess. And the beach party was good fun. Next time’s Stockholm, so yet more contrasts.
The actual conference sessions this time were weaker, or I chose poorly, but that didn’t seem to matter. There’s only a certain number of ‘why you should work with bloggers’ and ‘how to run a press trip’ sessions I need to go to. And besides, it’s a bit late to find that out as right after TBEX ended I began my first ever blogger trip, the #JayWayBaltics 10 day trip through the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.